Yesterday, we went to a GDC appointment with "Epic Games China" to see a game called Mercenary Ops. Built in Unreal Engine 3 and filled with Gears of War-esque gameplay, it was revealed as the first project from "Epic Games China." As it turns out, that's not quite true. "Mercenary Ops is being developed by Ying Pei Games, which was formerly Epic Games China. However, as with our many development and publishing partners, they are utilizing Unreal Engine technology," Epic Games' US reps told The Verge.

More bizarre? "Ying Pei" in Mandarin means "Epic," making "Ying Pei Games" the equivalent of ... "Epic Games." According to Epic Games (the American one), "We do own a minority stake in Ying Pei Games and we do work with them as with our other Unreal Engine developers, but Epic Games is not developing Mercenary Ops."

Additionally, EpicGamesChina.com directs to the Ying Pei website, and we were told by reps yesterday that the studio is a "subsidiary" of Epic Games US. The game's publisher, "Delkans," is brand new to North American publishing and has two mystery owners from the tech sector, making this whole story all the stranger.

Update: Epic Games' US reps tell us, "When they first launched the studio we clearly gave them Epic's blessing to call themselves Epic Games China. We were ready to have a more on-the-ground presence in China to reach those developers with our technology more effectively, not to mention we wanted to learn more about that market's needs and its growing talent base.

"They changed their name in 2010, can't recall which month. We didn't make a big fuss over it because our working relationship hasn't changed. They use our tech, they sell it, they make their own games, nothing new to report." So there's that!

Update 2: Ying Pei Games' publisher, Delkans Publishing, issued the following statement to Joystiq this afternoon: "Delkans Publishing, a new North American game publisher, wants to clarify that Mercenary Ops is being developed by Yingpei Games, Ltd., which is formerly known as Epic Games China. Yingpei Games, Ltd. is going through a transitionary phase and will continue to garner support from Epic Games and utilize their Unreal Engine 3 technology. Delkans Publishing will provide further background information on the developer, Yingpei Games, Ltd. in the coming weeks. Delkans Publishing apologizes for any confusion."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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